A new documentary highlighting the time and effort required to care for a child with a disability or complex medical condition recently had its Georgia premiere at the Springs Theater and Taphouse in Sandy Springs.
“Unseen: How We are Failing Parent Caregivers & Why It Matters” features Jesse and Ryan Ronne and their eight children including Lucas who has severe disabilities that require constant care. Jesse and Ryan are incredibly dedicated to Lucas’s well being, and the daily demands and resulting chronic stress takes a physical and emotional toll on the parents and family.
Currently, there are 16.8 million caregivers in similar situations to the Ronne family, and they often feel alone in their struggle due to lack of community support. The “Unseen” documentary shines a light on these heroes by allowing those who do not deal with these responsibilities to get a sneak peak behind the curtain.
While we are still decades behind providing the proper support for these families, there is one such organization that offers assistance.
Life House Atlanta (LHA), a Georgia-based non-profit founded in 2018, is one of only three facilities in the entire United States that serves as a home-away-from-home for children with disabilities. For up to thirty days a year, LHA offers overnight stays for kids with life-limiting illnesses, where they can participate in activities like music, art, swimming and many more while their primary caregivers take a well deserved break.
This type of respite care is incredibly rare as evidenced by the lack of local facilities, but they are incredibly important to the quality of life for families who sacrifice so much for their children. The first step toward getting more of these facilities is raising community awareness through media forms like the “Unseen” documentary, and hopefully, more are on their way.